World's fastest wheel-driven car cracks 503 mph


Meet the world's fastest wheel-driven car: the Team Vesco Turbinator II. Unlike other cars built only with the goal to go fast in a straight line, the wheels drove this car to a record, not thrust from a jet engine or rockets.

Driver Dave Spangler piloted the Turbinator II on October 1 to a record 503 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the World Speed Finals event. Although it's the fastest wheel-driven car in the world, the team wasn't able to actually make it into the record books.

To be recognized for an official world record, the team would have needed to complete a second pass. Unfortunately, rain ruined any chance for a second run and only one 503-mph blast was put on the books. It may not be official, but the timeslip doesn't lie.

A gas turbine engine provides power to the Turbinator II with 5,000 horsepower driving all four wheels. Special Mickey Thompson tires ensure grip, as does a special traction control system. It's no small thing, either. The top-speed machine measures 36 feet long, but despite the length weighs a relatively low 4,950 pounds, about the same as a luxury crossover.

At a full clip, the vehicle rockets through one mile in eight seconds, and after the first pass, the Turbinator II covered 7.18 miles in 2:19.

The team still has a national record to its name, however. In September, it claimed the local record with a 482.646-mph official speed. During the stunt, the Turbinator II managed to hit a top speed of 492 mph. Yet, the 503-mph run will remain a major accomplishment for the team even without official recognition. No other vehicle like the Turbinator II has managed such a speed, and it's absolutely insane to watch from the cockpit. Spangler dealt with nearly 0.5 g of force as the car rocketed down the salt flats. Have a look up above.

 
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